Rabbi wades into Brighton HMD row

By Sandy Rashty, February 6, 2014

The decision to bar a Reform rabbi from a Holocaust Memorial Day service has been criticised by a senior Orthodox minister and the Association of Jewish Ex-Servicemen and Women .

Last week, Rabbi Andrea Zanardo, of Brighton and Hove Reform Synagogue, was denied entry to the hall at the city’s Meadowview cemetery after a decision by the board of the Orthodox Brighton and Hove Hebrew Congregation.

He was forced to conduct the HMD service outside in pouring rain, with members of the Reform congregation, including war veterans, joining him.

In his sermon on Shabbat, Rabbi Vivian Silverman, of the Hove Hebrew Congregation — Brighton’s other Orthodox synagogue — is understood to have said the incident had put fellow Jews in a position of discomfort.

The rabbi, who is the brother-in-law of Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, added that even the Nazis did not distinguish between Jews of different religious denominations.

Jeffrey Fox, the national chairman of Ajex, said the incident was “terrible”.

He said: “They could have been more mature. It’s regrettable that our ageing membership had to stand outside. Organisers should have anticipated the possibility of what took place, and made sure that it didn’t happen”.

Last updated: 6:45pm, February 6 2014